|Dame Sally Coates Steps In at West London Free School|
Former Burlington Danes head to help search for third headteacher
Dame Sally Coates, the former head of Burlington Danes Academy in Shepherd's Bush, has stepped in to "keep an eye" on West London Free School and assist the school as it searches for a new headteacher.
Writer Toby Young, who led a group of parents in setting up the free school confirmed her role on Friday May 9, saying:
" It's not a formal role. Rather, she's acting as a mentor and adviser to the acting head and the senior leadership team. So far she's been brilliant and everyone at the school is very impressed.
Toby Young has also confirmed that the school has bought a third building in Hammersmith, at a cost of over £9.25 million.
This building, 2 Bridge Avenue, was extensively refurbished last autumn to create what estate agent Savills described as Grade A office accommodation.
The school is currently based in Cambridge Grove in Hammersmith. Its original plan was to move to Palingswick House in King Street in September 2013, with the Cambridge Grove site given over to the West London Free School Primary, which opened with two reception classes of 30 children each in September last year.
However building work on Palingswick House is still not completed and an application for temporary classrooms has not yet been approved. As the secondary school is now too large to share the Cambridge Grove site, it seems the school will be split between buildings, including 2 Bridge Avenue, which will require renovation to become suitable as a school.
Faced with criticism over these moves on the Evening Standard's website, Toby Young said:
" The £9.25m figure you mention is less than a third of the average cost of a new BSF school. Andy Slaughter should be thanking my trust for helping to clean up the mess his party made and at such a reasonable cost."
Hammersmith MP Andy Slaughter responded: " I don’t have a problem with money going to education or new schools opening, but I want all children in my constituency to get the money, not for it to be handed out to Michael Gove’s mates."
May 9, 2014